Children of Japan

Children of Japan
Courtesy, R. John Wright

The Jumeau 201

The Jumeau 201
Courtesy Theriault's and Antique Doll Collector Magazine

Hinges and Hearts

Hinges and Hearts
An Exhibit of our Metal Dolls

Google+ Followers

Tuxedo and Bangles

Tuxedo and Bangles

A History of Metal Dolls

A History of Metal Dolls
Now on Alibris.com and In Print! The First Book of its Kind

Alice, Commemorative Edition

Alice, Commemorative Edition
Courtesy, R. John Wright

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Emma, aka, La Contessa Bathory

Emma, aka, La Contessa Bathory
Her Grace wishes us all a Merry Christmas!

Annabelle

Annabelle

Emma Emmeline

Emma Emmeline
Our New Addition/fond of stuffed toys

Cloth Clown

Cloth Clown

Native American Art

Native American Art

the triplets

the triplets

c. 1969 Greek Plastic Mini Baby

c. 1969 Greek Plastic Mini Baby
Bought Athens on the street

Iron Maiden; Middle Ages

Iron Maiden; Middle Ages

Sand Baby Swirls!

Sand Baby Swirls!
By Glenda Rolle, courtesy, the Artist

Glenda's Logo

Glenda's Logo
Also, a link to her site

Sand Baby Castaway

Sand Baby Castaway
By Glenda Rolle, Courtesy the Artist

A French Friend

A French Friend

Mickey

Mickey
From our friends at The Fennimore Museum

2000+ year old Roman Rag Doll

2000+ year old Roman Rag Doll
British Museum, Child's Tomb

Ancient Egypt Paddle Doll

Ancient Egypt Paddle Doll
Among first "Toys?"

ushabti

ushabti
Egyptian Tomb Doll 18th Dynasty

Ann Parker Doll of Anne Boleyn

Ann Parker Doll of Anne Boleyn

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Tin Head Brother and Sister, a Recent Purchase

Tin Head Brother and Sister, a Recent Purchase
Courtesy, Antique Daughter

Judge Peep

Judge Peep

Hakata Doll Artist at Work

Hakata Doll Artist at Work
From the Museum Collection

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Japanese Costume Barbies

Japanese Costume Barbies
Samurai Ken

Etienne

Etienne
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Happy Heart Day

From "Dolls"

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A Favorite Doll Book

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Dr. E's on Display with sign

Dr. E's on Display with sign

Dolls Restored ad New to the Museum

Dolls Restored ad New to the Museum
L to R: K*R /celluloid head, all bisque Artist Googly, 14 in. vinyl inuit sixties, early celluloid Skookum type.

Two More Rescued Dolls

Two More Rescued Dolls
Late Sixties Vinyl: L to R: Probably Horseman, all vinyl, jointed. New wig. R: Effanbee, probably Muffy, mid sixties. New wig and new clothing on both. About 12 inches high.

Restored Italian Baby Doll

Restored Italian Baby Doll
One of Dr. E's Rescued Residents

Dolls on Display

Dolls on Display
L to R: Nutcrackers, Danish Troll, HItty and her book, Patent Washable, Mechanical Minstrel, Creche figure, M. Alexander Swiss. Center is a German mechanical bear on the piano. Background is a bisque German costume doll.

A Few Friends

A Few Friends
These dolls are Old German and Nutcrackers from Dr. E's Museum. They are on loan to another local museum for the holidays.

Vintage Collage

Vintage Collage
Public Domain Art

The Merry Wanderer

The Merry Wanderer
Courtesy R. John Wright, The Hummel Collection

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The Fennimore Doll Museum

Robert

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Halloween Dolls Displayed in a Local Library

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Long-faced or Jumeau Triste

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GAHC 2005

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A lovely dress

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Raggedy Ann

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Fennimore Doll and Toy Museum, WI

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Really old Dolls!

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Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Grummond Collection

From John Hare
The de Grummond Children's Literature Collection,
University of Southern Mississippi

From time to time, we have mentioned the importance of the de Grummond Collection to Tasha Tudor research. The de Grummond holds the largest gathering of Tudor's books, papers and other related material - some 3500 pieces from many sources.

Here's a recent description from the University itself as published in The Talon (Spring 2016), the alumni magazine.   Dawn Smith, Assistant to the Dean of the Library, relates the history of the de Grummond collection and its importance to children's literature research. The pictures are reproduced here with the permission of the The University of Southern Mississippi Libraries Digital Collections.


Celebrating 50 Years of Children's Literature at Southern Miss
Dr. Lena de Grummond examining
a new  arrival for the collection.

When Lena de Grummond came to The University of Southern Mississippi to teach children's literature in the School of Library Science in 1965, she envisioned resources that went beyond the classroom textbook. The de Grummond Children's Literature Collection is the result of one woman's dream to collect original materials from authors and illustrators of children's books to use as resources for students in library science. If students could study the creative processes of authors and illustrators by examining the manuscripts and illustrations first hand, she knew they would better appreciate the literature.

De Grummond became acquainted with a number of authors in her previous position in Louisiana as state superintendent of Louisiana School Libraries, and to accomplish her goal, she sent handwritten letters to them, as well as to her favorite children's book authors, to request original manuscripts and typescripts, illustrations, sketchbooks, and any materials related to the publication of a children's book, including galleys, dummies, publisher correspondence and fan mail. At one point, she wrote as many as 100 letters per week. The first to respond were Bertha and Elmer Hader, the husband and wife author-illustrator team, who sent manuscript materials, dummies and illustrations for Ding, Dong, Bell (1957). The contributions from the Haders were soon followed by more from Lois Lenski, Elizabeth Coatsworth and Roger Duvoisin.
Dr. Warren Tracy, Dr. Lena de Grummond, Dr. Frances Ladner Spain, and Southern Miss President Dr. William D. McCain at the 1968 Children's Book Festival.

"Dr. de Grummond had a vision, and I have no doubt she knew what she was creating from the very beginning. She developed relationships with authors and illustrators through correspondence, which is a great legacy for us. The correspondence with H. A. and Margret Rey shows how their relationship developed through the years. The personal interest Dr. de Grummond had for the donors was remarkable. She knew details about their lives, their children's names, their new projects, etc. She was sincerely interested in them, and the feeling was mutual," says Ellen Ruffin, current curator of the collection.

Founded in 1966, the de Grummond Children's Literature Collection has grown far beyond its original intent, and is now one of the largest such collections in North America. The collection contains the works of more than 1300 authors and illustrators, including Randolph Caldecott, John Newbery, Kate Greenaway, H.A. and Margret Rey and Ezra Jack Keats. These are some of the most celebrated names in children's literature with Caldecott, Newbery and Greenaway all having prestigious national awards named in their honor, and the Rey's being the creators of Curious George.  Keats, the man behind
The Snowy Day, is one of America's most groundbreaking authors with his efforts to break the color barrier in children's publishing, and
The Snowy Day is considered to be one of the most important American books of the 20th century.

These original materials are supplemented by a book collection of more than 160,000 volumes of historical and contemporary children's literature and include Aesop's Fables that date back to 1530, a board game from 1790, more than 100 versions of the Cinderella story and the papers of popular young adult author, John Green.  Researchers from across the United States, around the world and all disciplines at Southern Miss visit the collection on a regular basis to study its fables, fairy tales, folklore, alphabet books, nursery rhymes, textbooks, religious books, moral tales, fantasy, fiction, primers, and children's magazines. Complementing these holdings are scholarly studies, biographies, bibliographies, and critical works.

Now 50 years later, de Grummond's legacy lives on. Her influence remains strong and Ruffin says that she is often quoted in correspondence with potential donors. While the collection is available for use by students at Southern Miss and researchers, Ruffin has pointed out her efforts to the development of the collection, and to some degree, de Grummond's unique style can still be found in those efforts. The growth of the collection ensures its longevity and increases its value to the world of children's literature.
Dr. Lena de Grummond shares books from her collection with two children in this 1970s photo.

Since its founding 50 years ago, the collection has become one of the largest and most well-known collections of children's literature in the world. Today, the de Grummond Children's Literature Collection hosts numerous world-class exhibits from some of the industries' most well-known authors and illustrators, including Rosemary Wells and Tasha Tudor. The collection also plays a significant role in the Fay B. Kaigler Children's Book Festival each year by hosting the de Grummond Lecturer and the Ezra Jack Keats Book Award, a national award given to newcomers in children's literature.

1000th Post!

We have a reached a landmark, and during our 6th year have hit our new 1000th post and have over 100,000 Viewers/Readers as well as our beloved followers. We are on Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, and more.  I will continue to post, and keep up my other blogs, my writing on dolls, and my work on ADC and for Antique Doll Collector Magazine.  I will also be a guest blogger on the fantastic design journal for R. John Wright dolls, one of the most amazing doll artists ever! 

I am  also translating this blog into Greek, and hope to also translate it into Spanish and other languages.

Thank you so much for reading my blog, and for making this post 1001 possible!

Dr. E

Photos, Old Eclectics, Doll from Dr. E's Doll Museum

Antique Doll Collector Magazine: Bebe Gigoteur

Antique Doll Collector Magazine: Bebe Gigoteur: This is Ellen, Dir. of Social Media for ADC Magazine.  I guess it's true good things come to collectors who wait.   At a recent antiqu...

Sunday, March 27, 2016

Dolls Poppin Up Fresh!


Dr. E’s Doll Museum

 

Dolls keep popping up for me, literally everywhere.  Last night, on the old Tonight Show rebroadcast from March 1981,  Johnny Carson noted that Poppin Fresh,  The Pillsbury Dough Boy, of which dolls are made, was 20 years old.  He then made a joke involving Dough Boy and Mr. Bill.  “Oh, No!”

 

Ah, the memories!  I went to Spain that Summer of 1981, and we made a lot of Mr. Bill jokes walking together through Madrid, my friends and I. 

 

My first Pillsbury Dough Boy doll came from our local grocery store in about 1973; he was made of vinyl, a dead ringer for the animated character. Poppin Fresh reminds me of cozy dinners after cold, winter days at school.  The crescent rolls were a treat for us.  Sundays, my mom would shout down the hall, “Miss Europe! Time to get up!”  The whole house was fragrant with Pillsbury cinnamon rolls, coffee and bacon. 

 

That’s part of the fun of popular culture characters, it’s easy to associate them with favorite memories involving the character and the product advertised.

 

It’s a form of nostalgia, I guess, that becomes more important as we age.



 

Thursday, March 24, 2016

An Interview with R. John Wright-Originally on About.com Doll Collecting and Shared Here

Courtesy, R. John Wright
Courtesy, R.John Wright, Spring Time Lambs


I have been honored as a guest blogger on R. John Wright's magical site, and he in, turn, has honored us with the interview below!

1.      You have covered many eclectic and wonderful themes in creating your dolls; is there a dream doll you would still like to produce?

RJW:  Interesting question because there’s many dolls (and animals) we still wish to produce. Among them are dolls based on the wondrous images created by Maxfield Parrish and Arthur Rackham  - two of our favorite illustrators. But,  these may lend themselves better to tableaux or settings.

As far as a single character, we have long wanted to do Peter Pan. This would not be Disney’s version but closer to the original illustrations in the books by J. M. Barrie. When we took our four young children to London years ago, our first destination was to visit the famous statue of Peter Pan in Kensington Gardens. Someday we will find the time to make Peter Pan….

2.      The Fairy Tale Mice are charming; why did you choose mice to portray fairy tale motifs in doll making?

RJW:  We had just completed the set of mice representing the characters in the Wizard of Oz and they were so well-received by fans that we began to think of other ‘mouse’ possibilities. Classic fairy tales seemed like a good fit as it tapped into the droll nature of our mice. We’re planning a second group now which will include a haughty mouse depicting ‘The Emperor’s New Clothes.’ Fun!

Courtesy, R. John Wright

3.      Your online history mentions that you started to think about a career in doll making after you met porcelain doll artist Gail Wilson. Why did you choose cloth as a medium over porcelain?

RJW:  There are a few reasons why I didn’t gravitate to porcelain. First, I didn’t know anything about working with porcelain and didn’t have access to a kiln or other equipment. Secondly, I wasn’t particularly drawn to porcelain dolls. They seemed cold and a bit too precious to me. I had a vision of dolls that were warmer and more accessible. And lastly, when I was a child my aunt Genevieve worked at the legendary department store, J. L. Hudson’s, in Detroit, Michigan. The window dressers there used quality wool felt in their displays which my aunt would rescue from the trash and bring home for me to play with. I would make little theaters and other things using the felt and I think I developed an affinity for it. When I saw the Steiff dolls were made of felt it immediately hit a chord with me.

4.      You mentioned Carl Fox’s “The Doll” was an important influence on your work since that is where you saw the Steiff school room; have any other books on dolls influenced your work?

RJW:  Right before I began to make dolls I found a funny little book at the Dartmouth library in Hanover, New Hampshire. It was called “Dolls & People” by Jeannette Mowrey and inside were profiles of several doll makers and doll collectors – with photos of their collections. It opened my eyes to a subculture of adults who loved dolls. One photo in particular was of some ‘Hillbilly’ dolls made by NIADA artist Grace Lathrop. That image formed the basis of the very first ‘rustic’ RJW dolls.

By Carl Fox, Public Domain Image

“Lenci Dolls” by Dorothy Coleman - the first book devoted to the Lenci company - came out in 1977. This was our first year making dolls and the timing couldn’t have been better. We poured over that book in an effort to learn how to mold felt doll faces and improve our work. In the end we had to find our own way to learn our craft but the dolls themselves were hugely inspirational.

5.      Your expression of children’s literature through making dolls is breath taking. Have you considered creating dolls influence by other works of literature or drama?

RJW:  One thing we’d love to do is make a series of dolls based on very early Hollywood stars such as Rudolph Valentino. We’ve also contemplated dolls from famous ballets. We were recently approached by the Game of Thrones people to consider a line of dolls but we generally steer clear of very new properties. There are still many classics we have on our list.

6.      I am awed by the meticulous detail in all your dolls, but especially The Hummel collection.  What about Hummels made you want to recreate them as dolls?

RJW:   I went to Catholic school for 12 years so I think there may be a connection there! I do love the image of children that Sister Innocentia Hummel portrayed so beautifully. We were also impressed by how airbrushing on felt evoked the warmth and coloration of the original Hummel paintings and figurines. It all began to seem like a good fit.

Celestial Messenger, the Hummel TM Collection, Courtesy, R. John Wright

7.      Are you a doll collector, too? If so, what kinds of dolls do you collect?

RJW: As expected, we primarily collect cloth dolls. However, we don’t have hardly any contemporary artist dolls in our collection. Instead, we gravitate towards antique dolls which were manufactured in much the same way our dolls are. These primarily include early dolls by the Lenci, Kathe Kruse, and Steiff companies. I also have a humorous collection of mid-century felt cartoon characters made by Lars of Italy.

8.      Who are your favorite artists, not necessarily doll artists? Why?

RJW:  I am especially drawn to Vermeer’s paintings - but of course who isn’t?! There are many other painters I admire that are on most people’s list: Sargent, Homer, Mary Cassatt, Degas, Van Gogh. A more obscure artist is the Swiss painter Albert Anker.

Young Girl by Mary Cassatt, Public Domain Image



Albert Anker, Kind mit Puppe [Child with Doll]Public Domain Image


Susan has always loved the baroque painters such as Caravaggio while I gravitate towards the cooler, more Northern aesthetic. I think that makes us a good pair!


 
9.      What are your thoughts about the future of doll making?  About the future of doll collecting?

RJW:   When we started out we were inspired by the companies who manufactured the antique dolls we admired so greatly. While I was a member of NIADA it became obvious that I was an anomaly. All the members were either people who made dolls alone or sold their designs to companies to produce. Now, decades later, we’re struck by how there are still so very few artists who opt to produce their own dolls in quantity under their direct supervision. Most artists simply don’t want the headache of hiring and training a production team. So the future of doll making will most likely continue with artists crafting their dolls by themselves and far fewer companies making collector dolls.

Simon, the Toddler Bears, Courtesy R. John Wright

As for doll collecting, there will always be people who seek out excellence whether it be in the realm of antiques or currently-made items. And there will always be people who love dolls. But I think it will be a far smaller number than we saw in the ‘collectibles’ boom in the 80s and 90s. It will most likely resemble the world of doll collecting before that time which was a small subculture of people who were doll enthusiasts, not unlike the stories in “Dolls & People” which was published in 1956.

10.  Do you have any advice to share with either young artists or young doll artists?

RJW:  I would encourage doll makers to be “one’s own worst critic” - always striving to improve and never settling for less than the best you can do.  As doll makers for 40 years, we’ve found that’s what keeps it most interesting!

Courtesy, R. John Wright

Monday, March 21, 2016

Sunday, March 20, 2016

R.John Wright Guest blogger

Here is a link to R. John Wright's Blog, where I was privileged to be a guest blogger.  Thanks so much!

http://rjohnwrightblog.com/weblog/guest-blog-ellen-tsagaris-r-john-wright-dolls

Thursday, March 17, 2016

Peter Playpal

I lucked today at an estate sale in my own neighborhood!  I found a Peter Playpal, undressed, hands need reattachment, with shoes and socks, for $5!!  Here is my post on Playpal dolls, inspired by our friend and reader, Terri Lee: http://collectdolls.about.com/od/dolls1930s1950s/fl/Patti-Playpal.htm

For years, I've searched for companion dolls of all sizes, by all makers.  I have found several of the reproduction Playpals, and they were not easy to find.  A friend of mine was looking for hers to give to us, but couldn't locate her.  I bought an old one from a client of my husband's, and I've kept looking.  Besides Peter, I found a Victorian all bisque figurine for $1!!  These are the finds that make doll collecting fun!

Courtesy, Terri Lee



Tuesday, March 15, 2016

Dolls are Wear'n the Green! Our Newsletter

Spring, Rendezvous, St.Pat's and More!
This week is eventful indeed, there has been another great Theriault's Rendezvous, and another major auction coming up in about a week. There are doll shows starting up, one in Eastern Iowa and one in Western Illinois next week.  St. Patrick's Day makes me want to study all things Celtic and Irish, including wonderful dolls and statues: Irish Dancers, Leprechauns, and St. Patrick Himself.  Below are thoughts on some of the trends I've observed and dolls I have enjoyed.  Thanks again to readers for ideas of what you would like to read!  Keep it coming, and also thanks for your kind words.  Happy Collecting, and write to me at etsag1998@aol.com.  This will publish on the Ides of March; beware!!
Ellen Tsagaris
Doll Collecting Expert
Porcelain Bride
Mass Produced Porcelain Dolls; Still a Piece of Doll History  
Here is an encore performance of a post on modern porcelain dolls, still controversial in the doll collecting world.  The interesting thing is that I see prices for them slowly increasing on ebay and other online auctions and buying sites.  They also are selling fast in our local thrift stores, and climb a little in price there.  I'm just reporting on the "state of the dollhouse", not encouraging any sales!
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Steiner
Steiner Bebe Kicks her way to the Top!  
An unusual bebe with two rows of teeth operated by a gold key steals my heart and joins my collection.
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steiner
Spring Antique Show Features Dolls for All Seasons  
Dolls are reappearing at antique shows and selling well. Dolls from vintage to antique to 1990s Barbies are making a splash this spring at antique shows and doll shows.
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Rosebud
Composition Doll Memories; Durable and Loveable Companions  
Composition dolls were among my first old dolls; they are still fun to collect and to study.
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Monday, March 14, 2016

Antique Doll Collector Magazine: April Sneak Peek!

Antique Doll Collector Magazine: April Sneak Peek!:     For fashion doll collectors Paris was and remains, even to this day, as the magnificent focus of our collecting.  As a studen...

Tuesday, March 8, 2016

Doll Museum: My Musings on the State of the Doll House!

Doll Museum: My Musings on the State of the Doll House!: Et, tu doll collector!  Or, so I've wanted to say for the last two months.  The slings and arrow of doll collecting fortune have come fl...

Strawberry Shortcake and Dolls under Domes; Free Newsletter

Sweet Strawberry Shortcake and Her friends Rethought!
I thank M, one of our readers, who suggested our first piece on Strawberry Shortcake.  What a lovely idea with spring just around the corner!  This week was a bustle of pre-spring activities, including our March Antique show and the first ads for our spring flower show.  Don't we all want to go to the sun!!  Our next post deals with tips on how to insure and protect dolls.  While I'm no expert in insurance, this is food for thought for us collectors.  Another wonderful reader inspired our post on types of dolls to collect; she had some very interesting preferences that were inspiring.  Doll collecting seems to be enjoying a Renaissance this spring; many new dolls were introduced at The New York Toy Fair, and many great doll shows are springing up everywhere.  I plan to write more about our antique show, but there were many dolls and similar items available, more than I have seen in years. I did very well there, and also well at a retirement sale of a shop that featured Boyd's Bears, Wee Forest Folk, Steiff, and more. One lovely object at the antique show from Summer Kitchen Antiques was a very large dome, about 2 feet in height or more, that contained a scene made of tiny French fashion type dolls that had bisque heads and limbs, but tiny bodies of steel springs.  They danced along a grassy flowered, slope to music.  Just fantastic!  I also note that current issues  of Doll Castle News and Antique Doll Collector Magazine feature very unusual mechanical dolls, primarily made with metal and composition and papier mache.  With spring comes a lot of doll variety, so have fun choosing and collecting!  Remember to write at etsag1998@aol.com.
Ellen Tsagaris
Doll Collecting Expert
strawberry shortcake
Sweet Strawberry Shortcake and Her friends Rethought!  
Strawberry Shortcake, now 35 and counting, and her doll friends, continue to be popular with collectors. And, they smell as good as ever!
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Caring for Dolls and More; How to insure Our Treasures  
Here are some ideas for protecting and insuring your dolls for posterity. Dolls should be safe from damp, heat, and destruction!
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Leo Moss
Focus on some Dolls to Collect, suggest by one of our Readers  
A Reader's Request leads to Tips on Buying Dolls, including Dolls with Teeth! Here are some ideas for collecting some unusual dolls.
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wax
Miniature Doll Worlds encased in Glass  
Glass domes were all the rage in the Victorian Era; they housed everything from tiny dolls to wax fruit. I saw one this weekend that was priced at $12,000!
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Thursday, March 3, 2016

More New Dolls, and Collecting Dolls with Teeth; Our Newlsetter

Miniature Doll Worlds Encased in Glass, Readers Ideas, and Finding Dolls
As March is just around the corner, we have some eclectic ideas to share with doll lovers.  Dolls and miniatures under domes are featured in a review of an amazing book, while the question of where to find dolls by thinking outside the doll box is reviewed.  More on Barbie, the Toy Fair revisited, and a focus on several types of collectible dolls.  Thanks to all who have written to me; look for upcoming posts on Strawberry Shortcake,thanks to another doll fan.  Many of us have been dealing with family medical crises for some time, now, and having something you love to fall back on, as I do on my readers/friends, my writing, and my dolls, is a blessing.  May spring come soon to all of us, and with it, bring hope and renewal.  Please write to me at etsag1998@aol.com, and Happy Collecting!
Ellen Tsagaris
Doll Collecting Expert
wax
Miniature Doll Worlds encased in Glass  
Glass domes were all the rage in the Victorian Era; they housed everything from tiny dolls to wax fruit. Schiffer, the publisher of this book was kind enough to mention me in a tweet, and to follow me on Twitter!  Read more.
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cynthia
Dolls Are Where you Find Them  
With so many new dolls out all the time, and more people interested in older ones, this is a good time to review  how to think outside the doll box when you are looking for dolls.
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Disney
Dolls do Well at the New York Toy Fair with new Faces to Appear!  
Dolls and other classic toys did well at the New York Toy Fair. Look for posts about new dolls and related items that came from this event. 
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Leo Moss
Collecting Dolls With Teeth and African American Dolls  
Thanks to one of our wonderful readers, here is a link about selecting your doll focus; Armand Marseilles dolls, French and German Antiques with teeth, and African American dolls are among those discussed.